Kendrick Lamar the latest artist to curate a major soundtrack with 'Black Panther'

 
By Sonia Rao
The Washington Post
Updated 1/9/2018 10:27 AM
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  • Rapper Kendrick Lamar will curate the soundtrack for the upcoming "Black Panther" movie.

    Rapper Kendrick Lamar will curate the soundtrack for the upcoming "Black Panther" movie. Associated Press, 2017

Those of us on the edge of our seats in anticipation of Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" film might soon just fall off.

The studio announced last week that rapper Kendrick Lamar and record label chief Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith will curate and produce the soundtrack to the Ryan Coogler-directed movie, which hits theaters Feb. 16. A new lead single by Lamar and label mate SZA, "All the Stars," accompanied the news.

"The magnitude of this film showcases a great marriage of art and culture," Lamar said in a release. "I'm truly honored to contribute my knowledge of producing sound and writing music alongside Ryan and Marvel's vision."

The collaboration marks a pair of firsts. "Black Panther: The Album" is the rapper's first time writing, performing, producing and curating music for a film of this scale, according to the release. It's also Marvel's first soundtrack to include multiple original recordings.

"Black Panther," starring Chadwick Boseman, will feature a soundtrack produced and curated by rapper Kendrick Lamar and record label chief Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith.
"Black Panther," starring Chadwick Boseman, will feature a soundtrack produced and curated by rapper Kendrick Lamar and record label chief Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith. - Courtesy of Marvel Studios

But Lamar is just the latest in a line of popular performers who have curated soundtracks for film and television. Here are some others worth noting:

Lorde, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1" (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Much before "Melodrama" sent waves through the pop music scene, the singer put together a star-studded album for the 2014 "Hunger Games" installment. Her lead track, "Yellow Flicker Beat," climbed charts after ranking as the highest launch by a female artist on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart in 19 years. Kanye West later reworked the single with some very Yeezy-esque echoes and feedback in a track also included on the album. Other Lorde-chosen artists included Ariana Grande, CHVRCHES, Miguel and Tinashe.

Solange, "Insecure" (music from the HBO Original Series)

Solange Knowles is a master of curating -- just take a good look at her Instagram account for proof. Showrunner Issa Rae enlisted the singer to consult on the music for the first season of her HBO series, "Insecure." The show explores themes of black womanhood, as do many of the featured songs. From The Internet's popular "Just Sayin/I Tried" to Rae hilariously freestyling, the album is a fun mix of hip-hop and R&B that built up anticipation for the second season's soundtrack (which was just as great, if you're wondering).

Executive producer Pharrell Williams wrote and produced all four songs by Awreeoh, the movie characters' punk band, in the film "Dope." The 2015 film starred Tony Revolori, left, Kiersey Clemons and Shameik Moore.
Executive producer Pharrell Williams wrote and produced all four songs by Awreeoh, the movie characters' punk band, in the film "Dope." The 2015 film starred Tony Revolori, left, Kiersey Clemons and Shameik Moore. - Courtesy of Sundance

Pharrell Williams, "Dope: Music From the Motion Picture"

The three main characters of this 2015 movie are all about '90s hip-hop and slang, as the title suggests. The soundtrack is, too. Pharrell Williams, who also served as an executive producer of the film, included gems from Nas and A Tribe Called Quest. He even wrote and produced all four songs by Awreeoh, the movie characters' punk band. ("Can't Bring Me Down" is a bop.) "The '90s are special because the music felt so different," Williams said in a 2015 interview. "It was so much diversity."

Jay-Z, "Music From Baz Luhrmann's Film 'The Great Gatsby'"

The combination of 1920s glamour and modern hip-hop is strange, especially when matched with a Baz Luhrmann movie. Whether it worked -- we'll leave that up to you -- the soundtrack that Jay-Z produced certainly commanded moviegoers' attention. "'The Great Gatsby' is that classic American story of one's introduction to extravagance, decadence and illusion," Jay-Z said in a 2013 statement. "It's ripe for experimentation and ready to be interpreted with a modern twist."

If Lana Del Rey's "Young and Beautiful" wasn't stuck in your head for a good part of 2013, consider yourself very lucky. (It's also worth noting that Gotye, someone we used to know, makes an appearance on the album.)

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